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8 Tips To Help Your Child Learn a Second Language



8 Tips To Help Your Child Learn a Second Language


Thinking and knowing more about second language learning helps you to create possible learning options for your child.


1. Get involved
Children watch what you do! Try a foreign language course yourself. Demonstrate your own curiosity about different languages, people and cultures. Children learn most from what you do and say. They may be more motivated when you want to try food from England or see a French movie!

2. Media
Children can gain language through watching appropriate movies. Some experts suggest avoiding cartoons because of poor language levels and distorted pronunciations. Instead show the child an age appropriate family movie in their mother tongue (primary language) the first several times. Let them understand the movie completely, and then turn on the English, German or French version for example. The child already knows the story in his mother tongue and can now infer second language meanings. Young children pick up on the repetitive nature of these shows and can begin to pick up words and phrases in the new language. Cartoon channels tend to be too fast-paced and action-oriented to develop children’s language.

3. Bookstores
Visit bookstores and look at books in the second language. Some bookstores have cafes. You don’t always have to buy something!

4. Libraries
Get a membership to a library. Check its storybook and media collection that uses the second language.

5. Play
Games, such as UNO, lotto, Connect Four and dominoes encourage your child’s thinking and language skills.  Children’s’ abilities to solve problems, explain their ideas and create make them better learners! Play can be sporty, artistic or conversational. Play activities provide lots of opportunities for comments, questions and conversation. Playing UNO together will bring chances to count, match colors and say “It’s my turn!” in English. Playing Barbie or Fulla together can encourage your child to practice their “Bonjour” and “Merci” skills in a pretend birthday party. Maybe you could kick the soccer ball back and forth, while counting in German “ein, zwei, drei…” Thus, a child saying “Today I played” may really be summarizing how they gained vocabulary through a song, practiced their grammar at the lunch table and dramatized social-language situations.

6. Shopping
The next time that you visit the supermarket or the mall, remember to work in some second language practice.

7. Restaurants
They are also a great place to learn the names of food, practice reading menus and using money in a second language.

8. Socializing
Expose your children to as many native-language speakers as you can.

Once you read over these ideas, you will probably come up with several of your own!


Read also: Learning a Second Language

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